How documentation can help you as a developer. Is it even important?

Outlined below are several compelling reasons to document the work you do, which may pique your interest:

  • Collaboration and teamwork: Collaboration between development teams is enhanced through documentation. Developers make it easier for others to contribute, examine, and offer comments by thoroughly documenting their work. Particularly in scattered or remote teams, it enhances communication and reduces misunderstandings.
  • Internships- Google Summer of Docs is a program done by google every year in which they hire open source contributors who have experience in documenting and then they are hired to document the repositories of different open source organisations code bases are out there. This program usually starts from Jan so keep yourself updated about it. There are many programs like this out there conducted by Microsoft, IBM, Amazon etc and they also pay you stipends for your contributions in the docs.
  • Knowledge transfer: I love this point, you want to transfer your knowledge? Want to help other people out there? Then documentation of your work is the best way. With the use of documentation, developers can transfer their expertise and experience to team members, stakeholders, and upcoming programmers. It makes ensuring that everyone involved has access to and knowledge of crucial information on the codebase, project architecture, and design choices.
  • Code reusability: Finding reusable parts, libraries, or patterns in a codebase is made easier by documentation. Developers may simply share and use pre-existing solutions by documenting these components, which will save them time and effort. Additionally, it promotes the development of well-documented APIs, facilitating better integration and interaction between the code and external developers.
  • Project overview: A good README file for your project on GitHub can act as a crucial role. A recruiter or a employee of company can just open your repo and see the README file to get a good knowledge about what is going on in your project. This save their time a lot as they don’t have to compile your code to check it themselves. Documentation provides a concise and informative overview of your project. It should include details such as project description, purpose, features, and target audience. This overview helps visitors quickly understand what your project is about and whether it aligns with their interests or needs.

How to get started with documentation?:

  • This GitHub documentation provides information and guidance on customising the README files within GitHub repositories.
  • Contributing to existing organisations projects: If you don’t have projects to document or want to do something different then you can look for different open source organisations to contribute in. Codecademy have there own repo for docs and articles where you share your knowledge and contribute in their docs. Here is the Contribution Guide made by Codecademy. Each contribution done by you will showcased on Codecademy website.

Very helpful. Learned something new today thanks for this post.

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